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Orem Signing ()
#1 Copy

Wyndlerunner

You've mentioned in the past aluminum savants being able to somewhat heal their spiritweb, healing them of the cracks, sort of healing them of Allomancy. Could a chromium savant do this to other people, kind of like in the Avatar [The Last Airbender] finale where he seals bending?

Brandon Sanderson

I will say RAFO, but I will say you're theorizing along correct directions.

Skyward Chicago signing ()
#2 Copy

Questioner

As far as Hemalurgy, when you give that-- when it's done to somebody, would that create a new resonance?

Brandon Sanderson

It's possible that it could. Though I'm gonna say, most of the time, no... Lots of things are possible, but I'll give you a "mostly no" on that one.

Questioner

What about savantism? Is that possible with Hemalurgy?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, it is.

Skyward San Francisco signing ()
#3 Copy

Questioner

With a cadmium or bendalloy savant, would they be able to impact the amount of time that they can compress or expand?

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Questioner

So they could fit-- Theoretically they could make-- fit more time into the same amount of metal.

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, that's what you're asking. Yeee-- *pauses* So, yes, technically, because... Yes, but mostly what that's going to do is going to influence your strength and how much you can multiply--

Questioner

The size of the bubble?

Brandon Sanderson

The size of the bubble and the amount of time, like when you flare, you are pressing more time into it and a savant is gonna get really good at that. They're gonna get good at changing the bubble and the shape of the bubble, they're gonna get good at some of the other things involving the bubble. It does technically, as you become a savant, does mean you're able to squeeze a little bit more out of your metal, because that's just how it works, but that's not the main effect.

Legion Release Party ()
#6 Copy

Podman36

So, in the scene where Kelsier has all the metal around him, and he's Pushing and Pulling on [parts of the metal that are] not center of mass, is that something more along the lines of savantism, or is it just Rule of Cool?

Brandon Sanderson

No no, that I was pushing toward... I wouldn't call Kelsier a savant, but I would say that there were certainly steps toward that, and it's something I actually wanted people who were really skilled with the magic to be able to do.

Podman36

So it's not Rule of Cool.

Brandon Sanderson

I would not call that one Rule of Cool, I would say that I want that to actually be part of the magic, that I wanted there to be some level, particularly in Pushing and Pulling, of skill that lets you deviate from the normal. And I've tried to show in other places that people who are really skilled can do some different things like that, particularly with Pushing and Pulling, both on emotions and on metals. So no, not Rule of Cool there, I do occasionally do Rule of Cool stuff, but I wouldn't call that one.

MisCon 2018 ()
#7 Copy

Brainless

So if you jumped off a high place and you were a steel Feruchemist, could you store the speed of you falling?

Brandon Sanderson

No, because-- I'm going to say you need to be moving under your own-- because otherwise it's all relative, right? If you're falling, it's no different than if you're traveling on the planet or things like that.

Glamdring804

So it's related more to muscle contractions.

Brandon Sanderson

*hesitantly* Yes, kind of. Feruchemy bends all sorts of weird things, ever since I started doing the weight one. So, yes.

Brainless

The thing about Feruchemy is it feels like you could be like a savant short of it, but it would be much more minor than something like a savant for-- It would be more things like what you could get for exercise and stuff like that.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. Yeah, that's possible.

MisCon 2018 ()
#8 Copy

Brainless

You've always said that your favorite sort of magic was being a Coinshot or being a Windrunner because you really want to fly. So I thought that iron Feruchemy you can fly using just iron Feruchemy. So if you had a paraglider and a place to jump off of, you're paragliding, go downwards, your momentum increases, you increase your weight when you're going downwards. You pull upward and then you decrease your weight. Your velocity will increase and you'll go up--

Brandon Sanderson

We have thought about that. I'm not sure if the math-- Like, we're trying to conserve momentum. We're trying to follow the math of that. So the question is, would that work? It probably would, but I'd have to look at the math. Because I tried to make very clear in the Wax and Wayne books that we conserve momentum...

Really what we're doing is, we're breaking potential energy, right, when we're doing this. Because iron Feruchemy is just the weirdest of all of them. Because we're breaking potential energy, what you just said probably works, doesn't it.

Brainless

That was in context with the thing I was saying yesterday, about Feruchemical savants. If you did that every day for years, would you potentially get to the point where you could potentially make one side of your body heavier than the other side?

Brandon Sanderson

...There are many people in the cosmere who would think this idea has merit and they would want to test it.

Oathbringer Leeds signing ()
#11 Copy

Questioner 1

Do all Soulcasters risk turning into the element or is it only those using the device?

Brandon Sanderson

All Soulcasters have an affinity but the ones using the device are locked down much more than the Soulcasters who are Knights Radiant.

Questioner 1

So they are protected from being turned into--

Brandon Sanderson

Oh no they-- I wouldn't say protected... *clarificaiton* Protected is the wrong term but that event, the savanthood and how it affects them and things like that is much less pronounced if you are a [Knight].

Questioner 1

Or is that counteracted by the healing as well?

Brandon Sanderson

Healing doesn't have to do with it because-- in cosmere terms there's nothing wrong with your body, your spirit is actually drifting, and so it's not hurting you physically by what's happening with the magics. So it's not the healing but if you have an active bond with a spren it takes a little different path. Let's just say, in simple terms--

Questioner 1

You are not losing body parts to smoke.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, you are not using body parts to smoke. 

Questioner 1

What timeframe does it happen for the normal Soulcasters then?

Brandon Sanderson

For normal Soulcasters? It takes-- I mean, you've seen it happening in the books. We are talking [about] a process of years even decades, depending on the person. It happens to some--

Questioner 2

Depending on how often they Soulcast?

Brandon Sanderson

It depends on how often they Soulcast, and it depends on the person. 

Oathbringer San Francisco signing ()
#13 Copy

Questioner

I want to know if there is a toxic level for Stormlight? If you're in the storm, can you get to the point where you have too much?

Brandon Sanderson

No, it doesn't quite work that way. Good question, though.

Questioner

You said there was one person, I guess it was the Soulcasters, who were starting to change because of that?

Brandon Sanderson

That's more the magic changing their soul over time. It's not necessarily a function of the storms.

Warsaw signing ()
#14 Copy

Oversleep (paraphrased)

Allomantic strength. There are stronger Allomancers, they can burn metals faster, right?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yes, they can also squeeze more power out of it. They can use it more efficiently.

Oversleep (paraphrased)

So there is some loss of power along the way? How do savants work into that?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Savants can use it way more efficiently. They are more Connected to the Shard. Closer to Spiritual Realm.

Boskone 54 ()
#15 Copy

Questioner

[Us discussing savantism off to the side and Brandon overhears us]

Brandon Sanderson

What am I going to change?

BeskarKomrk

Something about savantism and how it works.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, savantism I’m tweaking. It’s not going to mean anything to most people, but if you are studying savantism, watch how it evolves in future books. There is an interlude from a savant viewpoint in Oathbringer, though.

yulerule

A Radiant savant?

Brandon Sanderson

A soulcasting savant.

Footnote: Likely referring to the Kaza interlude from Oathbringer
Miscellaneous 2016 ()
#18 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Warning, Evgeni. I'm really considering doing a backpedal on savants. The more i think about them, the less I'm not liking how my current course has them being treated in upcoming books. I think it deviates too far from my original vision.

Argent

Hey, I wouldn't normally contact you directly like this, but given that you thought it important enough to reach out and let me know you might change how savants work, I figured you probably wouldn't be too upset by this message. I replied to your Facebook comment, asking if you could clarify a little bit which aspects of savantism you are thinking of keeping and/or cutting. I don't need an essay on the topic (though you know I'd love one!), just some details on what we can consider canon for theories, and what we should be careful around.

Brandon Sanderson

Evgeni,

So here's the problem. The more I dig into savants in the later outlines, the more I feel that I'm in a dangerous area--in that I'm disobeying their original intention. (Which is that using the power so much that it permeates your soul can be dangerous, a kind of uncontrolled version of a spren bond.)

And so, I don't want to let myself just start making people savants right and left. It needs to be a specific thing. Wax is the troubling one, as I have him burning so much steel that he's well on his way, but isn't showing any side effects. If I'm going to give him savant-like abilities, he needs savant-like consequences.

That's the danger, just falling back on savanthood to do some of the things I want, so often that it undermines the actual point and purpose of them in the cosmere lore.

So if I backpedal, it will be to contain this and point myself the right way, sharply curtailing my desire to make people savants without their savanthood being an intrinsic part of their story and conflict in life. (Like it was for Spook, and is for Soulcasting savants on Roshar.)

Feel free to share this.

Argent

Okay, so - if you do decide to go this route, I see the story implications (larger focus on consequences, less easy to get to the point where a character can be considered a savant). What I am not sure about is the potential for a mechanical change. Would a backpedal on your side cause a conflict with information you've shared with us, in or out of your books? Are you saying that it's possible that Wax won't be considered a savant (if you can't squeeze a good ramifications plot for him that doesn't contradict the apparent lack of consequences so far, for example)?

Brandon Sanderson

I haven't decided on anything yet. It's mostly consequences for the future--just a kind of, "be aware I'm not 100% pleased with how Wax turned out, re: savanthood and Allomantic resonance."

The idea of resonance is that two powers, combined, meld kind of into one single power. This is a manifestation of the way Shards combine. Wax was intended as a savant of the two melded powers. But without consequences in his plot, I'm not confident that I'll continue in the same vein for future books.

Footnote: The first message comes from Brandon reaching out to Argent (Evgeni) on Facebook with a follow-up regarding this entry. This rest is from a Reddit PM exchange between Argent and Brandon.
Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
#19 Copy

Questioner

So Allomantic Savants. So I was curious-- That system-- When that happens, is it purely physiological, or is there something else happening in terms of--

Brandon Sanderson

Uhh, it's physiological in a cosmere sense, but that can involve your Cognitive and Spiritual aspects.

Questioner

I guess the question there is, are there other similar processes to savantism with other--

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, yeah you've seen it. So, Soulcasters.

Argent

Where their skin turns--

Brandon Sanderson

Where they're slowly being-- their spirit is slowly being merged and infused with Investiture that is having Physical ramifications. It's the same thing.

Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
#20 Copy

Argent

Have we seen the resonances of either Wax or Wayne?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, well, Wax is really good at sculpting bullets and things away from him.

Argent

The bubble.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah and things like this. This is playing with the fact that he is-- Let's just say that the abilities make this happen, and I’ll let you theorize on why, but it's just an enhancement to what he can do.

Argent

I might be wrong, but I thought you said it was because he was becoming a steel savant.

Brandon Sanderson

A savant, yeah, definitely, but this is what this is coming from.

Argent

But being a savant has to do with being really good with one power--

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Argent

--and resonances--

Brandon Sanderson

Being a savant has to do with using Investiture a lot, and it's starting to permeate your soul. Like we've ta--

Argent

So he's more a savant with both of--

Brandon Sanderson

He's used them a lot, and they are changing his soul, and so the powers are morphing and changing. Just in slight, little ways. You're not gonna see a whole bunch. But you can imagine these two separate powers are kind of becoming one to him.

Argent

Yeah I can see that. And Wayne?

Brandon Sanderson

So Wayne's is not as obvious. I'll go ahead and RAFO that right now.

Arcanum Unbounded San Francisco signing ()
#21 Copy

Questioner

So my quick question: Can you use Identity (I love the speed bubbles!) to anchor speed bubbles to yourself?

Brandon Sanderson

Uh, this is possible. That's less a matter of Identity. What’s gonna happen there, like, the more someone uses the powers, the more familiar and intermingled with their soul the powers become, and they are able to accomplish things that others can't. This would be like a Mistborn learning to hover a coin, right, which they can do, but most think you can't. That's the sort of level we're going with.

Necarion

So a savant could?

Brandon Sanderson

A savant could totally do that. The problem is, things moving in and out of a speed bubble, there's a transference of energy. This is how we keep speed bubbles from irradiating people when light moves through them, right, red shift. And so there's a transfer of energy directly from the Spiritual Realm, which means that moving with a speed bubble, you're gonna run into that, and it's gonna be, it's gonna cause all kinds of problems, but it would be possible.

Dark Talent release party ()
#27 Copy

Windrunner Savant (paraphrased)

I asked about the importance of a lot of the religion from the "Final Empire Era" Scadrial. I pointed out that there were a lot of little nods and references to other shardworlds.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

He assured me that there was something there, perhaps not anything as big as I was hoping for, but definitely more than just "Easter eggs!"

Dark Talent release party ()
#28 Copy

Windrunner Savant (paraphrased)

So in Shadows of Self, when TenSoon and Was are fighting the spiked creature things, TenSoon mention that he was Harmony's "Preservation."

*Brandon seemed a bit apprehensive about that statement*

And he said that Wax was Harmony's "Ruin."

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

*still apprehensive* Yes...

Windrunner Savant (paraphrased)

Well since Harmony has been around for about 300 years someone else would have had to fill that role, right?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Probably...

Windrunner Savant (paraphrased)

And could that person possibly have been Paalm?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Maybe.

Dark Talent release party ()
#32 Copy

Windrunner Savant (paraphrased)

I asked for a random fact about Hoid.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

He was hesitant at first, and after a bit, and me begging for even something inconsequential, he responded: "In the next book people will think he is helping them, but he is really helping himself."

Windrunner Savant (paraphrased)

I pushed by what he meant by "next book".

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

He refused to answer.

Dark Talent release party ()
#34 Copy

Djarskublar (paraphrased)

So I could be wrong, but a Hemalurgic spike, when you use it and become a savant it does damage to your Spiritweb, right?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yes Hemalurgy always hurts you.

Djarskublar (paraphrased)

So say you go to Roshar and you give somebody a Hemalurgic spike for some Allomantic power, don't care what, and you use it to become a savant. Does that qualify them as 'broken' enough to become a Radiant? As long as they are also following the Ideals to attract a spren.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

So becoming a Radiant is a spectrum of terminologies. It... probably, but you would have to find a Radiant who would, or a spren who would be willing to touch that, okay? It's going to drive them back.

Djarskublar (paraphrased)

So would it also affect your probability of becoming an Elantrian?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yeah it would affect your ability to become anything else, yes.

Djarskublar (paraphrased)

Okay, so would it be a positive effect, negative effect...? Because I was like, it gives you cracks in your Spiritweb.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

It does give you cracks in your Spiritweb.

Djarskublar (paraphrased)

So it's easier for Investiture to get in. Does it make it easier for other Investitures to get in?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

It would make it... yes. It's going to drive spren away. So what it's really going to make easier for, there, is spren and Investiture that doesn't care.

Djarskublar (paraphrased)

Okay, so Investiture doesn't care but spren do.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Investiture might care depending on if it's part of a Shard-- if it has intent and things like this.

Djarskublar (paraphrased)

So it might let Stormlight in easier than a Breath, type thing.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

I'm saying it might let Odium in easier than Syl. Because Syl would care, and Odium would not care.

Djarskublar (paraphrased)

Okay cool.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Alright, so it could be a really bad thing, is what I'm trying to say to you.

Djarskublar (paraphrased)

Yeah that's cool. I just want to know more about gold too. Gold Allomancy too. Because Miles was doing some funky stuff.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Miles was doing some funky stuff.

OdysseyCon 2016 ()
#37 Copy

Blightsong

Would it be harder for Jasnah to Soulcast a Knight Radiant?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

Would it be harder for her to Soulcast a Mistborn?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, investiture resists investiture. It's harder for her to even Soulcast a person than a rock, right?

Questioner

Is a Mistborn invested?

Brandon Sanderson

The Mistborn, how their burning the metal, you're right. They are not specifically invested when they are not burning. When the investiture becomes active, the yes. Before, no, you're right on that.

Blightsong

So Kelsier, he stayed around longer, not because he was invested, but because he had the potential to use investiture?

Brandon Sanderson

Over time using the magic will invest you, on Scadrial. Most of the power is not coming from, on Roshar the power isn't coming from the person either [he cut himself off, so I assume this is how it works on Scadrial even though he didn't finish his thought] so I'm going to have to back up on that one and say, yes, the Mistborn are as invested as a Knight Radiant, because in both cases the majority, bulk, of the power is coming from somewhere else, but there is the spirit web. Investing the wrong term, but you have all these connections in the spiritual realm, so yanking you away from them, or rewriting them is harder.

Questioner

Would they be harder with more Stormlight or metals burning?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, yes. That would increase the difficulty ratio. For instance, wearing Shardplate is gonna be a great barrier, right, and things like that so yea. The problem is like, Invested is the wrong term for that, their Spiritweb is connected in different ways.

Calamity Chicago signing ()
#38 Copy

Kurkistan

Is there such a thing as a Feruchemical savant?

Brandon Sanderson

I did not write Feruchemical savants into the original outline. Whether or not I will do them- it’s highly unlikely because it’s not there and Mistborn is getting trickier and trickier in that regard. But I didn’t write them in, so… that’s a “probably not”.

Calamity Chicago signing ()
#39 Copy

Alterodent

If a hermit were to take a whole lot of cadmium and go off and live by himself, how far within a lifetime, reasonably, could he get into the future by essentially time-capsuling himself? Assuming they live to be 70 or 75.

Brandon Sanderson

They could get pretty far.

Alterodent

What would the savantism do to them?

Brandon Sanderson

The savantism would probably allow them to get further… It’s completely reasonable… you can treat this like relativistic travel.

The Alloy of Law Annotations ()
#40 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Marasi is an Allomancer

One of my big goals in these post-epic Mistborn books is to give a chance for more limited-power people (Mistings and their Feruchemical cousins, Ferrings) a chance to shine. In the previous trilogy, the focus really was on the Mistborn. Vin and Kelsier fit the epic fantasy mindset I wanted, powerful in an epic sort of way, broadly capable with abilities in a lot of areas.

For these books, I wanted to show people who had one or two powers, instead of sixteen, and show how specialization can achieve some incredible results. Because of that, I intentionally held back in the first trilogy in letting Vin do a few things. (Note how much better Zane was with minute steelpushes and ironpulls than she was.) Vin was incredibly skilled, but because she had so many powers to work with, she didn't home in as much on any one of them. Things like Wax's steel bubble are tricks I wanted to save for people like Wax. (He's what we’d call in the Mistborn world a steel savant, so capable with his metal—and having burned it so long, for so many years—that he's got an instinctive ability with it that lets him be very precise.)

And so we come to Marasi, who has the power opposite—but paired with—Wayne's ability. Both she and Wayne have powers I wanted to delve into. Indeed, I kind of promised that the last metals would get highlighted in these newer books. Matching that, I've given Miles the same power the Lord Ruler used to heal himself from so many incredible wounds. I wanted to explore more of what this skill was capable of when not overshadowed by so many other powers and abilities.

Shadows of Self San Francisco signing ()
#42 Copy

Questioner

There is quantitative difference in Allomancy (e.g. Elend is stronger than Vin), there is skill difference (e.g. Breeze is better than Vin with zinc), but is there a qualitative difference too?

Brandon Sanderson

That’s the scale of what we call savant. Wax can do more with less. It’s not just skill, the burning for long, using for so long, will actually adapt your soul to the power.

Questioner

So can bronze savants pierce copperclouds?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, a bronze savant should be able to pierce copperclouds. It depends on the strengths of the coppercloud and the strength of the savant, but yes.

Questioner

So Elend could theoretically learn to pierce copperclouds?

Brandon Sanderson

Weaker ones, yeah, totally. He can learn how to do it by brute force.

Salt Lake City Comic-Con FanX 2015 ()
#44 Copy

Sirce Luckwielder (paraphrased)

When Kelsier is teaching Vin about the basic eight Allomantic Metals, he talks about not flaring metals, especially tin and pewter, as it does strange things to people. Does this imply that there were other savants before Spook?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

His answer was that there were other savants before Spook.

Salt Lake City signing ()
#45 Copy

Questioner

Can you compound like a, can you compund metalminds to the point where you become like a savant?

Brandon Sanderson

A savant happens because persistent use of the power has an effect on your soul, warping it. Compounding is a very different thing, so while you could draw some very powerful effects, I would not call them the same thing, even if they are imitating one another at certain points.

Words of Radiance Washington, DC signing ()
#47 Copy

IronCaf

What other magic systems - because it seems unique from what we have seen - what other magic systems have that same, kind of, "If you use it a lot it gets better?"

Brandon Sanderson

So, imagine this way-- You're making a metaphor-- It is a little bit more like wedging open cracks in the soul by letting the flow come through, and the investiture comes in. 

IronCaf

So it seems that in Allomancy, it seems to maybe enhance those cracks--

Brandon Sanderson

It can open the cracks more.

IronCaf

Are there other magic systems like that?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. 

IronCaf

Will we see those anytime soon?

Brandon Sanderson

Maybe. Anytime soon? Let me RAFO that for you.

/r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
#48 Copy

theFinisher4Ever

Was the Lord Ruler using Feruchemy + Allomancy to Soothe all of the people around him? Or was he, as I like to think, flaring for so long that he became a Soother Savant?

Brandon Sanderson

He lived long enough and used his metals enough (particularly Soothing) to become nearly a savant in every area, if not a full savant.

/r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
#49 Copy

Herowannabe

I recently picked up the Mistborn Adventure game and am loving it. I made a character who is a blind Mistborn because hey, I thought it would make for some interesting possibilities. As I understand Allomancy, he can hear/sense well enough to get around with Tin, plus even though he's blind he can still "see" steel lines (like the inquisitors), and I assume Atium would work the same way- that is, he could still "see" Atium shadows. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Brandon Sanderson

No, you're right. That works. He'd have to burn metals a LOT though. It might warp him a little. :)

17th Shard Forum Q&A ()
#50 Copy

Douglas

What benefit does an aluminum savant get? Yes, I know this would normally never happen because aluminum burns itself up. Suppose a mad scientist with a willing Mistborn test subject shoved a feeding tube down the Mistborn's throat to pump in a continuous stream of aluminum, replenishing it steadily so there's always a new unburned supply. Add another tube to pump out excess water if necessary. What would he discover? Alternatively, what would Sazed with his Shard-granted knowledge know?

Brandon Sanderson

Ha, that IS a little silly of a method. However, on the extreme end of aluminum, I have in the notes the possibility of cleansing the spirit of unwanted effects of other Investitures. You'd get really good at this, and maybe even be able to cleanse the body of other impurities.

Alloy of Law 17th Shard Q&A ()
#52 Copy

Chaos (paraphrased)

I continued to ask about the Lord Ruler and his Allomantic strength.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

There's an upper bound to the amount of power you can get from being a savant. Brandon said that, obviously, the Lord Ruler wasn't using duralumin and Elend could only get that powerful in Soothing using duralumin. He implied that there was a way to Compound to enhance Allomancy.

The Hero of Ages Annotations ()
#54 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Chapter Fourteen

Spook Enters the Stage

And so, here we have our first Spook chapter. When I wrote these books, I'd been planning Spook's sections for quite some time and was very excited to write them. As I said earlier, I wrote them all together, like a mini-novel of their own, then interwove them with the Vin/Elend sections and the TenSoon sections.

Spook has always been a personal favorite of mine. His silly nonsense of a language from the first book was a lot of fun, and even then I began planning what I could do with him were I to make him a viewpoint character. The first thing I had to do was, unfortunately, get rid of the dialect—it annoyed too many people, and it just wasn't comprehensible enough.

The second thing I had to do was give him conflict. Clubs's death, and Spook's absence during the Siege of Luthadel, gave me a large chunk of that. But from there I needed more—and I wanted to do something different with Allomancy for him. Hence the idea of the tin savant, a person who has burned and flared tin so much that it has changed his body.

We'll get a lot more on this as the book progresses. However, my feeling has been that these novels have focused too much on the powerful and the very capable. I love Vin's and Elend's scenes, but we needed something from someone a little bit lower on the power scale. I wanted to do these Spook sections to show someone more average, someone most readers usually ignored, doing amazing things.

Originally, I wrote Spook a little bit more unhinged. He was cocky in his new powers to the point of being a little too off-putting. During the final revision—the one where I added Sazed's studies of the religions—I backed off on Spook's intensity in these first few chapters from his viewpoint, trying to make him a little more sympathetic and a little more trustworthy.

Yes, he's done serious damage to his body by ignoring the advice not to flare his metal too much. (See book one where Kelsier gives this same advice to Vin.) However, he now recognizes what he's done and explains why he's doing it.

Other than that, this is another setup chapter reintroducing us to Spook, giving us his motivations and place in the book, and showing off his magic a little. The next chapter from his viewpoint has a lot more going on.

Idaho Falls Signing ()
#55 Copy

Andrew The Great (paraphrased)

What benefit does an aluminum savant get?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Is it even possible to become an aluminum savant? You'd have to be burning aluminum consistently, and aluminum just kind of goes away in a burst.... After that, he discussed how being an aluminum misting will likely be considered a handicap in the Mistborn RPG because you can't pick up other allomantic abilities.